The much anticipated reunion of the Dirty Lowdowns inspired a one-night-only show at O’Malleys pub in Portland and then something happened…

Kicking off the evening was Monica Nelson and the Highgates, a Portland based collection of friends with a résumé spanning more than 30 years in music. Monica Nelson and the Highgates are Monica Nelson (vocals), John Alan Naylor (Guitar), Jeffrey Larson (Bass) and Joe Sanderson (drums).

Their musical talents could be considered reminiscent of such veteran rock acts as SugarCubes, Black Sabbath, Patti Smith and a little Suzi Quatro. Monica Nelson leads the band with powerful vocals and lyrics which seem torn from the pages of diary, full of heart-felt poetry toys with the audience, exposing a vulnerable side which one only gets a brief glimpse in to the heart of the truly talented soul.


Vodka Wilson Overdrive is Steve “The Supreme Intellect” Wilson (Vocals) formerly of Rancid Vat, Eric “Vegetable” Olson (lead guitar) formerly, and currently of Poison Idea, Chris Warner (rhythm guitar) formerly of the Cleavers, Mark Foeller (bass) formerly of LSD&D and Jack Cook (drums) formerly of North Carolina.

VWO is a journey into the surreal. With glass in hand, Steve unravels string theory, time travel and yes, the answer to, “How many cocktails does it take to get to the center of the universe?” The heavy riffs and hooks and powerful drumming, VWO is honest, RAW and impressive. They have an upcoming show and record release on the Voodoo Donuts label, Portland favorites the Gnash, and Bergerette will be sure to impress fans at Cartlandia on September 20.


Portland Oregon’s own Dirty Lowdowns has a history rich with success which I find interesting why this band hasn’t taken the country by storm. Formed in 1998, Dirty Lowdowns released the CD, “US Of A” with slightly countrified hard rock inspired by The Supersuckers, AC/DC, Motorhead, and Turbonegro.

They later replaced their former lead guitarist with Mike Teal in 1999, and went on to play several local gigs to very widespread, positive crowd response and very favorable local press reviews. In 2000, they recorded the five song Demo CD, “Edge Of Disaster” which won them a slot on the local stage at Portland rock station KUFO’s Summer festival Rockfest in 2001. Tb festival featured national artists, Korn and Disturbed, among others.

They continued to play several local shows to a positive crowd and press response. They played high-profile live shows like the closing night of legendary Portland punk club E.J.’s, as well as traveling to play Seattle and Tacoma regularly, and eventually ending up recording the 2006 full length CD release Powerstripper.

The CD earned them greater notoriety in the local Portland underground scene with its heavy riff and powerful hooks, and earned them a slot at that years MusicfestNW. Also, several local shows with local Portland underground legends like Dead Moon, Naplam Beach, and Poison Idea.

The band spent several years following Powerstrippers release, they played numerous local live shows, gaining more fans until 2009, when they entered the studio to record a six song EP. The band ran out of funds to complete the recordings, and due to personal issues, they had to put the band on hiatus.

In the meantime, Doug and Mike started a cow-punk project called Go Ballistic, Jerud and Jeff formed hard rock band Dinner For Wolves. The fans persisted, and Dirty Lowdowns played a show every summer since 2010.

Go Ballistic ended in 2012, with Doug going on to play drums for local legend Chris Newman (Napalm Beach) and has released a new CD titled “Beachcomber” produced by famed producer Jack Endino. Jeff and Jerud still play for Dinner For Wolves, who are recording a new CD presently, and have two live shows coming up soon, this Aug 9 at O’Malleys, and August 24 at Centaur Guitar’s Centaurplaooza.

Dirty Lowdowns plan on releasing their latest unfinished recordings this winter, including tracks from live recordings at The Twilight Cafe, where they played regularly. The new material is tighter, heavier, and much more polished than earlier recorded efforts.

Using their influences from stoner rock bands like Fu Manchu and Gluecifer, to metal bands like Slayer and Judas Priest, they create a new chapter to the Dirty Lowdowns sound. Expect some live shows to accompany the release.

Dirty Lowdowns:
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Vodka Wilson Overdrive:
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Monica Nelson and the Highgates:
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